Crashing the Texas Tea Party

Graph courtesy of <a href="http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/9931/medinamentum-in-gop-gubernatorial-primary" target="_blank">Burnt Orange Report</a>

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Last week I highlighted the increasingly odd Republican primary for the Texas governor’s mansion, where Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Gov. Rick Perry were expected to engage in a can’t-miss intra-party heavyweight battle. Instead, the race has been transformed by the emergence of a third candidate, the pro-secession, pro-sovereignty, (and very, very pro-gun) conservative activist Debra Medina. Medina has used social media, grassroots organizing, and a tireless anti-government message to compete with the two heavyweightsand now, according to a new PPP poll (pdf), she just might win.

 

The odds are still against her, but Medina now finds herself within the margin of error against Hutchison in the battle for second place; she gets 24 percent of likely voters while Hutchison wins 28 percent. With Perry still well below the majority he’d need to win the primary outright, it’s looking more and more likely that we’ll end up in a run-off. Medina would have a lot of ground to make up, but the momentum would be on her side. (And Perry, despite his longevity, isn’t exactly Mr. Popularity in the Lone Star State: He was re-elected with just 39 percent of the vote in 2006). Katherine Haenschen has a pretty good breakdown of what this all means.

 

Medina’s ascent, along with the news that Tea Party godfather Rep. Ron Paul (a Medina supporter!) is facing three primary challengers of his own, offers a reminder of just how foggy the Tea Party movement really is. Perry, having himself broached the idea of secession and having earned the endorsement of Sarah Palin, would seem very much to be the “Tea Party darling,” Politico said he is. But Medina has, improbably enough, managed to carve out a platform even further to right than Perry’s. Given the fragmented state of affairs in Texas, attempting to apply any sort of unified ideology to the Tea Party (aside from, maybe, “dissatisfied”) seems like an unwinnable proposition at this point.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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